'Esquire' magazine names O-Ku as one of 2010's Best New Restaurants

Image by Image provided O-Ku's Executive chef Sean Park

O-Ku, Charleston, S.C.’s celebrated upscale Japanese restaurant, has been honored as one of the Best New Restaurants of 2010 by "Esquiremagazine.

For more than 25 years, the elite men's publication has explored top dining destinations coast to coast in search of the nation's finest new offerings, recognizing the most outstanding eateries.

Renowned food critic John Mariani, published author and columnist for publications including Esquire, Diversion and Bloomberg News & Radio, is the connoisseur behind the prestigious annual list. Mariani praised O-Ku and its executive chef by saying, “Sean Park turns out beautiful, fanciful sushi…in the liveliest new nightspot in town.” Mariani also praised O-Ku’s interior as “glamorous” and the sushi as “fantastic.”

In New York City to receive the award, Steve Palmer, managing partner of The Indigo Road restaurant group said, “Opening an upscale Japanese restaurant in Charleston has been a long-time ambition of mine. Achieving such respected praise with the Esquire award is a milestone and an honor for me, chef Park and O-Ku’s incredible staff.”

Executive chef Sean Park celebrates authentic Japanese cuisine by using the highest quality fish from markets in Japan and Hawaii, as well as locally sourced ingredients. Park’s love of fundamental Japanese cooking combined with his modern approach effectively fuses the old and new, with signature specialties such as the wasabi scallop and lobster robatayaki.

Since opening in March 2010, Palmer has established O-Ku as Charleston’s newest dining destination and the successful second venture for The Indigo Road restaurant group. Located on Charleston’s upper King Street, O-Ku resides in a refurbished mid-20th-century building. The interior is sleek and modern, yet offers a reminder of Charleston’s charms and history with its exposed brick and high ceilings.

  • For more on O-Ku, take a look at a review and photos from TheDigitel's dinner at O-Ku from a few months back.

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